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FoodNetwork.com's royal jack cocktail recipe has applejack, homemade grenadine

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Making grenadine at home is pretty easy, and it's the key to making this winter cocktail truly special.

Applejack and Champagne serve as the base. If you've never had applejack before, it's a concentrated apple wine that has had its alcohol and flavor intensified at below-freezing temperatures. It's definitely worth a try.

20 must-have winter cocktails: not a hot toddy in sight

Ingredients

For the homemade grenadine:

  • 2 c unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • ¾ c granulated white sugar or turbinado sugar

For the cocktails:

  • 2 oz applejack, preferably Laird's Bonded
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 T homemade grenadine
  • 3 oz brut Champagne
  • Sliced or diced apple or red apple peel, for garnish

Directions

For the homemade grenadine:

1. In a small saucepan, bring the pomegranate juice to a boil over high heat.

2. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and continue to cook until liquid is reduced by ½.

3. Stir in the sugar to dissolve thoroughly, and simmer to thicken slightly.

4. Remove from the heat and let cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

For the cocktails:

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or small pitcher with ice.

2. Add the applejack, lemon juice, and grenadine.

3. Cover and shake vigorously until thoroughly mixed and chilled, about 30 seconds. (In general, the drink is ready by the time the shaker mists up.)

4. Strain into 2 Champagne flutes.

5. Top off each drink with 1 ½ oz Champagne. Garnish with apple.

Serves: 2

Makes: about 1 1/3 c

Total time: 45 minutes

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